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Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby on Board Badges - How big should they be?

If my commute this morning was anything to go by, Baby on Board badges should be day-glo, about a six inches wide and also have flashing lights on them. I was pretty shocked to see a whole section of people on my train this morning ignoring a woman wearing a badge quite prominently.

Baby on Board standing

When she and I both got on at Hammersmith, the train wasn't completely packed but there were no seats & in my section of the carriage there was only me & her standing. Ah, I thought, here's a perfect example of how the badge will work. She wasn't really one of those border line cases where you think "Fat or Pregnant?". She didn't really look pregnant.  I guessed she as at the early stages of her term. Great, the badge will come into its own.

Baby on Board standing

After one stop nothing. Despite both me and the woman giving hard Paddington stares at everyone seated. Everyone was either engrossed in a paper or their mobile phone or talking to each other or staring into space.

OK onto the next stop, surely by now someone will look up and see her badge, specially as she had now moved into the centre of the aisle between the seats to look more noticeable.

Baby on Board standing 2

Nothing. By now I was beginning to feel awkward & slightly annoyed.  I could see her badge from the other end of the carriage.  Surely someone should have noticed by now.  If I was her I probably would have asked for a seat. But then I thought, why should she? She was wearing a badge that said "Look I'm pregnant, I've gone to the trouble of getting a badge from London Underground and I'd like a seat". Isn't just the fact of wearing the badge enough to save people the embarrassment of asking for a seat and the embarrassment of offering a seat to someone who isn't pregnant? Not in this case.

Another stop went by and still no one got up. Finally a lady standing next to me had also had enough. She loudly and politely said "Could one of you give up your seat for this woman, she's pregnant?" Immediately a man who was with a female friend stood up and offered their seat. The pregnant woman said thanks and informed the carriage that she was actually six months pregnant. Shame it took three stops for this to happen.

I know that we can all be so involved in our papers, books, kindles or whatever, but it takes close to no time to occasionally look around to see if someone might be in more need of a seat than yourself (pregnant or otherwise).

Otherwise TfL can you spend some of your revenue making badges that maybe a bit more in your face? Perhaps we have to get to the level of "Pregnant please let me sit" if "Baby on Board" is too subtle for some!

Update - seems a lot of people had never heard of Baby on Board badges until this post - here's information from TfL's site on and how to get hold of one if you're pregnant.  The link also includes information on Priority Seating in general.

Related posts (that's not all of them and yes it's a pet hate of mine!)
Pregnant Pause
Baby on Board Badge Spotted
Tube Seat Etiquette
Upgrades for pregnant rail travellers

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